- Associated Press - Thursday, February 9, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY (AP) - The stepfather of Oscar- and Grammy winner Cher has died in Oklahoma City.

Verna Bullock said Thursday her father, Gilbert LaPiere, died on Tuesday. Bullock says LaPiere suffered a heart attack recently and fractured his hip.

He was 88.

Bullock says LaPiere was married to Cher’s mother, Georgia Holt, and that the entertainer and LaPiere remained close over the years.

LaPiere was born June 29, 1923, in Irvington, N.J. His college education at the University of Missouri School of Mines was interrupted by service in World War II as a bombardier with the Army Air Corps.

He earned a bachelor’s degree in petroleum engineer and worked in the oil and gas lending industry in Oklahoma, New York and California. LaPiere moved to Oklahoma in 1966.

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